View Full Version : Parrot Tulip WIP

09-07-2007, 11:38 AM
I have never done such a large canvas (24x36), but here we go :) I'm painting around the edges too. This is acrylic and these flowers will be Parrot Tulips.

I have an hour in this so far just did a quick sketch and then painted the background. The background has many colors in it, can't tell in this photo, and the top isn't this dark IRL.

I'm not thrilled with the composition so far, and I think it needs another partial tulip somewhere? What do you think?

Here is the reference photo http://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/474879655/
I just didn't like the crop of the top tulip so I just drew my own...but I'm not happy with my flower composition either :rolleyes: :D

Any advice is appreciated :)


09-07-2007, 02:07 PM
I've found tulips' shape to be rather difficult to render effectively, I hear your challenges! I know you'll come up with a good solution. How do you feel about allowing that top bloom to go off the top edge of the canvas like it does in the photo? And then enlarging the lower blossom a bit to allow it to dominate? Just some thoughts.

09-07-2007, 02:40 PM
Deb, I like the layout with just the two. Maybe add a bud crossing the center..... or just lengthen the top flowers petals a little will give you the balance you need.
Otherwise, I like the energy coming from it so far. :thumbsup:


09-07-2007, 02:50 PM
Deb, the two tulips look disconnected right now. i loved the 'whirlygig' action on the top tulip in the ref. can you redo the top tulip more like the reference but have the two touching just a bit? just a thought.........

09-07-2007, 05:01 PM
Thanks Kathy, I had it that way and thought it looked too big for the bottom blossom...so I was just playing trying to see what looks the best. :)

Celeste and Billie- Thanks so much... Yeah I was kind of thinking the same thing. I did like the photo but wanted more of the flower showing...and I was thinking about the top flower going over the edge too. So, I will work on doing that and see how things go....thanks again :)

09-07-2007, 07:11 PM
Update- Boy I had a mess...couldn't see what I was doing for a while. But now you can see the flowers. This looks much better huh? Does anyone see anything else I should fix?


09-07-2007, 07:46 PM
lookin' good, Deb! you might want to put a little curve in that center stem to repeat the other lines in the comp.

09-07-2007, 08:19 PM
Whew! Isn't it good when you are past the point of not sure what's a leaf and what's background?! Beginning to really take shape nicely!

09-07-2007, 08:23 PM
I've seen the reference and I think this lookin good. Can't wait to see the yellows glide into it.

09-08-2007, 05:10 PM
Billie- Thanks for pointing that stem out... you are right and I will change it :)

Gayle- Yes it is, I'm really not very fond of the early stages of painting. I just have to learn to keep working and get past it...then I have fun!

Art- Thanks for stopping by :) I really like the reference too.

09-08-2007, 09:24 PM
Had a little bit of time to work on this. Here is the progress so far. I'm going to add all the Red area's last.


09-08-2007, 10:14 PM

09-08-2007, 10:47 PM
I can already see that it will be very lovely when it is finished. :thumbsup:

09-09-2007, 08:16 PM
Thanks Billie and Kathleen.

I'm changing both the stems. The top tulip stem needs to be up more and it's going to curve down and the bottom stem will curve up a little. I also added a background leaf in that area too.

09-12-2007, 08:01 AM
This is looking great Deb!

09-12-2007, 11:48 AM
Looking amazing already!

09-12-2007, 07:34 PM
Looking fabulous!!

09-12-2007, 08:14 PM
I've been keeping an eye on this one and can't wait to see it finished. I'm sure it will be stunning. I love how you have continued the flowers around the edges, adds more dimension and interest. :thumbsup:

09-12-2007, 10:33 PM
Thanks Sue, Tracey, Celeste and Polygon, I'm so glad you are all watching and checking in :)

Update, the bottom tulip is about done, other than I need to add the red. I have been working on the details on it. I have also changed the background around, stems and leaves.

So here is an update...not a huge change.


09-13-2007, 07:36 AM
It looks great!
keep up the good work :)

09-13-2007, 08:25 AM
Your bottom tulip is really look beautiful. I love this kind of tulip with its fringes on the edges of the petals.

I'm not sure you need that bit of a tulip above the one you're working on.

That large diagonal of green crossing between the two tulips seems to cut the painting in half. Maybe when you get the stems and some of the leaves farther along it will serve to connect the tulips rather than divide them.

I like what you've done so far (other than what I just mentioned ^^^^).


09-13-2007, 02:50 PM
Deb you have a fabulous style of painting. This is shaping up beautifully. You will nail it I know it!

09-14-2007, 04:21 PM
Thanks Marianne

Sylvia- Thanks so much for your opinion... I very much appreciate it. I have a hard time with even numbers lol... so I like the 3rd one and I like the way it will go around the edge too. I tried the stems in different directions and I thought this way looked the best and felt like it drew my eyes up to the top tulip then back down. Thanks again :)

Elaine- I'm so glad you have confidence in me lol... I need that :D One thing is for sure, I will keep on it until I am pretty happy with it, I figure it's the best way to learn. I'm so glad you stopped in.

It's Friday and I really hope to make a dent in this painting this afternoon and this weekend. It is going a lot faster then that rose did lol. :D

C&C is always welcome and appreciated! Sometimes other people see things that I don't :)

09-14-2007, 05:38 PM
I love the depth you capture at the edges of the petals.

09-14-2007, 05:49 PM
i like how you've managed that waxy shine that tulips have so well!

Lady Carol
09-14-2007, 06:34 PM
This is really impressive Deb. Lovely work.

09-14-2007, 08:45 PM
You guys are the best. Thanks so much :)

I played with the little off the edge tulip, I figured it was a good place to try the red first, and I'm so glad I tried it their first because I just wasn't happy with the color, I'm really going for the orange red I think. So when I get farther I will post a photo :)

09-15-2007, 08:18 AM
Oh my!! This is really coming along and I love it! Will make a point to watch updates!

09-15-2007, 10:34 AM
This is gorgeous! The light soft yellow is very appealing against that background.


09-15-2007, 10:45 AM
Wow this is fabulous!!!!! :clap:

Ranger Dan
09-15-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm with you on the third tulip, Deb. It keeps the diagonal from cutting the painting in half and helps direct the eye. Plus I'm sure as you darken the upper left the diagonal won't be an issue even.This is looking fantastic! Makes me wish I could paint!!

Margaret 59
09-15-2007, 09:05 PM
Watching closely for some hints Debs as we have tulips in bloom right now.
It looks good so far and I know it'll be great finished. :wave: :)

09-16-2007, 01:38 AM
Looking fantastic Debs - very interesting angles - will keep an eye on this - it is going to be superb!!!!

09-16-2007, 12:56 PM
Well I started roughly adding the colors in place on the top petal...looks really ugly right now. Maybe I can post a photo later today, if I get a chance to work on it some more.

I'm so glad so many of you are watching and think things are going well on this. I wonder sometimes, when staring at it. It's nice to know you are all here with fresh eyes :)

Thanks Gayle, Cindy, Sandy, Ranger Dan, Margaret, and Ruth :)

09-16-2007, 02:21 PM
Wow Deb - this piece is amazing too!! Are these the tulips that are going to hang with the rose? I really really like the way you are painting over the edge. What a neat touch. I can't wait to see the progression. GREAT work.

09-16-2007, 09:06 PM
Deb, this is coming along well. I am sure it will be fabulous.

09-18-2007, 10:01 PM
Kym- No these won't hang together, I will have to paint something else to go with the rose. When I saw this reference, I just wanted to paint it on this size canvas.

Hi Sue, and Thanks :)

A little progress, I still have a little to do on the bottom tulip- top left petal, and I'm still working on the tulip that wraps around the edge. But those 2 are almost done. The top one is in the VERY ugly stage :D I thought this red/orange looked good with the other colors.


09-19-2007, 06:49 AM
Oooo it has the lovely drama that these tulips should have!

09-19-2007, 07:07 AM
Just when I think it can't get much better - here you go! This is going to be incredible!

Ranger Dan
09-19-2007, 08:48 AM
Very striking. I'd say the red/orange is perfect!

09-19-2007, 12:37 PM
This is the first time I have posted here. I wanted to tell you your work is very vibrint and fantastic

09-19-2007, 12:44 PM
this is coming along great, Deb! keep up the good work!

09-19-2007, 03:20 PM
Wow this fabulous Deb. You have a wonderful style that has a definite Dutch Masters influence to it. This is strong and vibrant and full of life.

Very impressive! I'm glued to it....

09-19-2007, 06:58 PM
Elaine- "Dutch Masters Influence" wow that's a complement...thanks so much :)

Thanks Billie, Ranger Dan, Gayle, Celeste.

Loralee- Thanks so much, and Welcome to the Floral Forum :)

A little update and a closer photo of the 2 tulips, now I will move to the top tulip.

09-19-2007, 11:12 PM
There is also a botanical quality but more vibrant! I love it!
Watching closely.....

09-20-2007, 12:56 AM
Awesome work Debs - this is sensational. I agree with Elaine re the dutch masters - they loved their tulips!!!!

Terry Wynn
09-20-2007, 10:57 AM
This is awesome, Deb. Thanks so much for letting us peer over your shoulder with the WIPs. I am learning to do that for my own use - I don't post much here. But I've found that it helps my confidence level to keep personal WIPs so I know I can survive the ugly stage and pull things back from the fire, so to speak!

But enough - this is beautiful - would love to see IRL!


09-20-2007, 11:33 AM
This is awesome, Deb. Thanks so much for letting us peer over your shoulder with the WIPs. I am learning to do that for my own use - I don't post much here. But I've found that it helps my confidence level to keep personal WIPs so I know I can survive the ugly stage and pull things back from the fire, so to speak!

But enough - this is beautiful - would love to see IRL!


Hi Terry :wave: Keeping the wip photos is a very good idea. I always say it's only paint and can be painted over. But then again I use acrylic and maybe it's easer to paint over then others.

The reference I am using is someone else's from Flickr.com the link is in my first post (I think). :)

Ruth- Thanks so much :) Tulips are one of my favorite flowers too. DH knows I would rather have tulips then roses.

Becky- Gosh it's just so nice to see you over here :wave: Thanks :)

Charlie's Mum
09-20-2007, 04:16 PM
Coming in late here - but then I get to see the progress quickly :D

That bottom tulip is really good Deb - so the top one will follow suit I'm sure.
Dedication - that's what you're showing in abundance!

I do like they way this is going - nice work! :D

09-21-2007, 06:22 PM

09-21-2007, 09:14 PM
Thanks Maureen and Tracey :)

I won't get to work on this until next week, hopefully I can finish it this week. :)

09-22-2007, 12:02 PM
Deb, I'm not familar with Parrot Tulips, but I like what I see. Lovely colors.


09-22-2007, 11:14 PM
This is really looking good. I am anxious to see how this turns out

09-24-2007, 11:24 PM
Thanks Terry and Jeanette :)

10-07-2007, 03:08 AM
Left a msg for you on the rose... then went for a walk along the path named Deb... and what great work you are doing... esp on these tulpis... it is gorgeous so far... and this is going to look stunning... you can already see it...

Will look forward to seeing the final results.

10-11-2007, 08:50 AM
This is just coming along beautifully. I love you paintings!!!!!

10-12-2007, 11:18 AM
I can't wait to see it finished. :clap:

10-12-2007, 03:19 PM
it's looking fantastic :) and dramatic

10-12-2007, 03:59 PM
This update is gorgeous. The vibrant colors and deep background are really working together beautifully.


10-12-2007, 08:30 PM
Gosh...Thanks sooo much everyone :)

Well I just finished and it's starting to get dark here in So. Calif. but I managed to get a photo. I will wait a few days before I varnish, so if you see something wrong that I didn't see please let me know.



Thanks again, :)


10-13-2007, 03:02 AM
Thanks for the WIP Deb! I don't know how in the world anyone could get acrylic paints to work like that! Everytime I try them they dry out on my pallette so fast not to mention on my canvas. I really admire your work!

10-13-2007, 03:35 AM
That is really beautiful. I like seeing it hanging on the wall like that. Thanks for that photo so we can imagine how it will look IRL somewhere special.

Lovely WIP, it was fun "watching" you work. :D


10-13-2007, 11:07 AM
Stunning stunning stunning!!!!!!!

10-13-2007, 01:57 PM
I also forgot to mention that I changed the color of the red, it was more of an orange red. I liked this color much better with the green background.

Thanks Sandy :)

Sylvia- Thanks, to show you what the sides looked like I really needed to hang it.

Peggy- I don't know anything else lol. Everyone tells me I would like oils, but I don't have a problem with acrylics, in fact I like them. Thanks for stopping in :)

Margaret 59
10-13-2007, 06:56 PM
Beautiful work, Debs and thanks for the WIP. :wave: :clap:

10-14-2007, 01:28 AM
Margaret- Thanks for stopping back in to see it finished :)

I see a couple little things I need to fix, one being the stem on the top tulip needs to be bigger. Anyone see anything else?

I'm wondering if I should add some blue in the shadowed areas? I used a darker yellow, but I'm not sure, would blue help?

10-14-2007, 03:07 AM
Hi Deb, this is just fantastic, very beautiful, love how you did all those middle burnt orange.

10-14-2007, 05:44 AM
I've come late to this but feel in regard to the stem of your top tulip that it is curving the wrong way and should actually bend the reverse of what you have. It is just too awkward an angle for the way the flower head is facing.

Also check the stem the bottom tulip as it doesn't curve and end in the centre of the flower - the flower end of the stem needs to come down a little bit.


10-14-2007, 07:45 AM
Other than the minor stem adjustments - I'd say you're finished, and beautifully so. I like how you've allowed the background to be a nice dark "drop cloth" so to speak for the main attraction. I'd almost be inclined to have some more very subtle variation in the background greens, but not to the point it distracts. As to the blue, that would be a nice addition to a primary color scheme, but I think I'd just add subtle touches here and there around the outside edges of the blooms, probably not within the petals. But, I don't think that addition's necessary as you've already got quite a "wow" impact going on here. Very dramatic Deb, well done.

10-14-2007, 11:31 AM
Elain- Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Dewi Thanks.

Celeste that was exactly what I was looking for. I think I will try a little blue wash on the outside edge of the turned edges. Thanks :)

10-14-2007, 03:24 PM
Deb, This is wonderful. it is nice to see it on the wall you get a better feel for how it really looks finished. Can't wait to see some more of your work,

Charlie's Mum
10-14-2007, 03:59 PM
Gosh...Thanks sooo much everyone :)

Well I just finished and it's starting to get dark here in So. Calif. but I managed to get a photo. I will wait a few days before I varnish, so if you see something wrong that I didn't see please let me know.



Thanks again, :)


I've quoted this post Deb so we don't have to keep going back a page!

I agree about the stems - they're the bits that didn't gel for me! The flowers themselves are stupendous!
I wonder about adding some glazes of yellow on the curve of the right stem (bottom flower) and on the top of that leaf just below it ....... nothing bright, just enough to lift them slightly from the beautiful, rich, dark b'gd. .. really just emphasising what you already have there.
Of course, it may well just be the photo and it all looks exactly right in RL - so just ignore me! :D :lol:

10-14-2007, 11:53 PM
Hi Maureen- Well I'm glad you mentioned added some more yellow to the stem and leaf because I was thinking about doing that too. Thanks :) And how could I ignore you :D

Loralee- Thanks so much for the nice comment :)